Roasted Red (or Green) Pepper Risotto

August 28, 2006

Roasted Red (or Green) Pepper Risotto

From Chad Weiler, Tucson CSA

4 Bell Peppers (I usually use red but any color will do)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup arborio rice
1 medium onion finely chopped
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup dry white wine
6 oz. Manchego* Cheese
1/2 cup Dry Roasted Unsalted Almonds
1/2 cup fresh basil chopped

1. Drizzle peppers with olive oil and roast on the grill or in the oven
2. Place peppers in a bowl and cover tightly with saran wrap for 10-15 minutes. The moisture built up in the bowl will help loosen the skins.
3. Peel off the skins, remove the stem and seeds
4. Place peppers in a food processor with the almonds and process to a smooth consitency. Add a little olive oil if mixture seems too dry. Reserve for later use.
5. Meanwhile in a small sauce pan bring the stock to a boil. Once at a boil reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer.
6. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter in the olive oil. Add the garlic and onion and cook over low heat, stirring, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the rice and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until coated with oil, about 1 minute. Add the wine and simmer until almost evaporated, about 3 minutes. Stir every so often to prevent rice from sticking.
7. Add 1 scant cup of the simmering stock and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is absorbed. Do not let the risotto stick to bottom of the pan! Continue to add the stock, 1 cup at a time, stirring occasionally, until it is absorbed. The risotto is done when the rice is tender but still slightly firm and creamy, about 25 minutes total. I liken the mouth feel of the rice when it is done to al dente pasta.
8. Remove risotto from heat and add the cheese. Stir until melted. Add in the pepper puree, and the basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

*Manchego is a Spanish cheese that can be found at 17th Street Market, Rum Runner, and sometimes Trader Joe’s

I usually serve this with grilled shrimp that I have marinated in garlic and olive oil for 30 minutes.

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